The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans - and many others believe scientists are exaggerating the problem, according to an exclusive poll for The Observer.
The results have shocked campaigners who hoped that doubts would have been silenced by a report last year by more than 2,500 scientists for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which found a 90 per cent chance that humans were the main cause of climate change and warned that drastic action was needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The findings come just before the release of the government's long-awaited renewable energy strategy, which aims to cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over the next 12 years.
Over the past 18 months I've written scores of columns on global warming.
I've read nine books on the subject so far (six by authors supporting the theory of man-made global warming and the Kyoto accord, three by skeptics).
I've watched three documentaries, including Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and two by skeptics.
I've read hundreds of articles and now spend at least two to four hours each week researching this issue alone.
The best journalism, pro and con, is coming out of the United Kingdom and Europe, where carbon taxes and cap-and-trade are already adversely affecting millions of people because of skyrocketing energy prices.
“The hundreds of well qualified endorsers to the Manhattan Declaration should end, once and for all, the highly flawed notion that only a tiny number of so-called ‘skeptics’ dispute the science underlying the Kyoto Protocol”, said Carleton University Earth Sciences Professor and ICSC Chairman, Dr. Tim Patterson. “Millions of Canadians are coming to understand that the only constant about climate IS change – it changes continually. Yet, governments continue wasting our money on the ridiculous goal of ‘stopping climate change”, even allocating millions of dollars to establish an electronic tracking system for units traded in the Montreal Climate Exchange, Canada’s first so-called carbon market (ref. May 30th announcement by Environment Minister, John Baird).
“Many of us agree that there are many environmental and economic issues that require our urgent and immediate attention,” explained ICSC advisor, Carleton University Earth Sciences professor, Dr. Fred Michel in his recently published letter to the editor. “My concern is that climate alarmists, like Al Gore, are diverting the attention of society away from the real issues with their constant talk about CO2, which is not driving climate change. … As for climate change, we as a society need to continue to adapt to nature rather than trying to change nature to suit us.”
In a conference call with reporters, Karl and the other co-chair, Gerald A. Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said there is no doubt that human-generated heat-trapping gases have helped intensify both the Southwest's current drought and heavy downpours, which have been increasing at a rate three times that of average precipitation over the past century.
As greenhouse-gas emissions rise, North America is likely to experience more droughts and excessive heat in some regions even as intense downpours and hurricanes pound others more often, according to a report issued yesterday by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.
The 162-page study, which was led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides the most comprehensive assessment yet of how global warming has helped to transform the climate of the United States and Canada over the past 50 years --and how it may do so in the future.
Measurements by four major temperature tracking outlets reported that world temperatures dropped by about 0.65° C to 0.75° C during 2007, the fastest temperature changes ever recorded (either up or down). The cooling approached the total of all warming that occurred over the past 100 years, which is commonly estimated at about 1° C. Antarctic sea ice expanded by about 1 million square kilometers – more than the 28-year average since altimeter satellite monitoring began.
But have these collective announcements ended the global warming debates? No, stay tuned for further developments.
Cyclical, abrupt, and dramatic global and regional temperature fluctuations have occurred in observable patterns over millions of years, long before humans invented agriculture, capitalism, smokestacks, and carbon trading schemes. To appreciate just how lucky we are to live in the present, consider climate cycles from a historical perspective. Over the past 400,000 years, much of the Northern Hemisphere has been covered by ice up to three miles thick, at regular intervals lasting about 100,000 years each. Very brief interglacial cycles lasting about 12,000 to 18,000 years, like our current one, have offered reprieves from the bitter cold. From this perspective, there can be no doubt that current temperatures are abnormally warm.
A scientist whose reservations about "global warming" have been officially endorsed by tens of thousands of other scientists is accusing the U.N. of using "mob rule" to generate fear-mongering climate change reports intended to scare national leaders into submitting to its worldwide taxation schemes.
"Science has always progressed on the basis of observations, experiments, and thoughts published by individual scientists and sometimes pairs or small groups of scientific coworkers.
Robinson's concern over the political manipulation of science earlier led him to launch the Petition Project, a compilation of more than 31,000 scientists – with more names arriving daily – who have voluntarily signed their names to the following statement:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
Rarely has so much hectoring produced so little.
After all the magazine covers, celebrity sermonizing and U.N.-certified-expert hand-wringing, the fight against global warming got a real-world test in the U.S. Senate a few weeks ago in the debate over a proposal to limit carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade system. After a small dose of the argument, supporters of the proposal couldn't wait to drop it. It was leading opponent Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader, who declared he'd be happy to talk about cap-and-trade for a month.
As an indirect tax on carbon, cap-and-trade would increase energy prices when people are already straining under $4-a-gallon gas. Even a political naif -- which McConnell assuredly is not -- would realize the benefit of hanging the proposal around its supporters' necks. Lately, we've seen the tech and housing bubbles burst, and now -- at least as an urgent political issue -- the global warming bubble is getting pricked.